Members of the Democratic so-called “Squad” are blasting Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) after she came out in opposition to a $3.5 trillion spending package.
On Wednesday, Sinema said she would support a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. However, in a statement later in the day, she came out in opposition to a separate $3.5 trillion spending bill that Democrats are hoping to pass alongside the bipartisan package.
“While I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s everyday families get ahead,” she said in a statement.
Most legislation in the Senate requires 60 votes to pass the chamber, meaning at least 10 Republicans would have to vote for a bill for it to pass. Democrats are hoping they can win over at least 10 Republicans to pass the smaller bipartisan bill.
However, Democrats are looking to use a process known as budget reconciliation to let them pass a separate bill with more of their priorities in it with just Democratic votes. All 50 Democrats in the chamber would have to vote for the bill, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
In June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) linked the passage of the bipartisan bill to the passage of the reconciliation bill, “Let me be really clear on this: We will not take up a bill in the House until the Senate passes the bipartisan bill and a reconciliation bill.”
Sinema’s opposition to the reconciliation bill in its current form could endanger both bills. Democrats have a slim majority in the House, and some progressives have said they would block the bipartisan bill if lawmakers tried to slim down the reconciliation bill.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted, “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin – especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a ‘bipartisan accomplishment.'”
Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin – especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a “bipartisan accomplishment.” 👍🏽👍🏽 https://t.co/0VF8Z73vAa
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 28, 2021
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) wrote, “Time for the White House to play hardball. We didn’t elect Sinema as President, and we won’t let her obstruction put a Republican in the Oval Office in 2024. It’s the reconciliation bill or GOP controlling every level of government again, period.”
Time for the White House to play hardball. We didn't elect Sinema as President and we won't let her obstruction put a Republican in the Oval Office in 2024. It's the reconciliation bill or GOP controlling every level of government again, period. https://t.co/fA04JEQe7F
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 28, 2021
As The New York Times reports, the reconciliation bill would “vastly expand social and environmental programs by extending the reach of education and health care, taxing the rich and tackling the warming of the planet.”
Democrats also want to include a provision that would create a pathway to citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, immigrants with temporary protected status, and immigrants who qualify as essential workers.
Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez warned, “We have made the stand, and we said, ‘We will tank the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless we also pass the reconciliation bill.’”
“And so it goes both ways, right? If Manchin and in the Senate, if they approve our reconciliation bill, we will approve their bipartisan bill. And if they try to strip immigration reform, if they try to claw back on childcare, climate action, etc., then we’re at an impasse. It’s a no-go,” she added.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.